Vitamin D and iron help treat hair loss, states Prevention. Low levels of both vitamin D and iron have been associated with hair loss in humans and mice. Research from the University of Cairo indicates that as levels of these vitamins decrease, there is a corresponding increase in hair loss.
A direct correlation between hair loss in women and low levels of vitamin D and iron was found by researchers at the University of Cairo, reports Prevention. In addition, women with lower levels of these essential nutrients experienced further hair loss. Researchers believe that vitamin D plays a regulatory role in gene expression and stimulates normal hair follicle growth. Researchers also speculate that low levels of iron prevent an essential enzyme from working and thus cause hair loss.
Prevention recommends a minimum of 600 international units of vitamin D for most adults, while those over the age of 71 should aim for 800 international units a day. This can be achieved through supplementation, but vitamin D can be found in sufficient quantities in everyday foods. A glass of fortified milk or orange juice contains around 120 international units of vitamin D, and salmon packs an impressive 450 international units per 3-ounce serving. In addition to preventing hair loss, vitamin D has been linked to lower rates of bone fractures, cancer and heart disease.